THE SOWER AND THE SEED
January 4, 2009
It is important to note that Jesus gave this parable at the start of His parabolic ministry. This parable is actually a type of all the rest of His parables, and also contains the reason why He chose to teach in parables to the people. The importance of this parable is made clear in the light of Jesus explanation, because by it we can see ourselves as we really are concerning the way we have received the Word of God into our own lives.
I. THE SOWER
Matthew 13:3 Although there is little revealed about who the sower is within the parable, we have avenues open to us as to the identity of the sower. The lesson in the parable indicates the sower could be anyone who presents the Word of God to others. However, there is strong indication that Jesus is speaking of Himself as the sower. By looking at the next parable in Matthew 13:37 we see that Jesus identifies Himself as the sower of the good seed.
II. THE SEED
Matthew 13:19; Luke 8:11 The seed that is to be sown is described in a two-fold way, namely, “the word of the kingdom”, and “the Word of God”.
Acts 20:27-28 Paul teaches us that the whole counsel of God is to be declared, and that it is the responsibility of church leaders to “feed the church of God” with the Word of God.
John 1:1 It is very important to remember what and who the Word is, thus the “seed”.
I Peter 1:22-25 The Word is “living” and “incorruptible”, thus it is perfect and James 1:16-18 can “regenerate” (re-create) a soul from the dead.
III. THE SOILS
(1) Matthew 13:4 (The Wayside) These hearers represent people with a closed mind and closed heart to the Gospel. Their heart is calloused to the point of not hearing or seeing the truth, see Matthew 13:15. Having a hardened heart, the Word cannot penetrate and germinate in the heart, thus the “fowls” (the devil Luke 8:12) devour the Word (seed) before it can work. Their condition is that of being “blinded” by the “god of this world” II Corinthians 4:3-4.
(2) Matthew 13:5-6 (The Stony Places) These hearers receive the Word with great excitement and joy, but do not ground themselves into the Word and thus do not “abide (reside or remain) in Christ” John 15:4, 6. Without the abiding with Christ we do not have a strong foundation and have little or no chance against the “world, the flesh and the devil”.
(3) Matthew 13:7 (The Thorns) These are hearers that receive the Word but cannot commit themselves to Christ, surrendering instead to the lusts of this world I John 2:16. The “cares of this world” Matthew 13:22; Luke 21:34 will detract us from what is really important. “The deceitfulness of riches” Matthew 13:22; I Timothy 6:17-19 makes us feel self-sufficient.
(4) Matthew 13:8 (The Good Ground) Matthew 13:22; Luke 8:5 These are hearers with good, pliable hearts that hear, see, and understand the Word and nurture and water it until it allows them to bring forth spiritual fruit for our Lord. Matthew 13:23 talks of different quantities of fruit bearing. As illustrated in the parable of the Talents, God gives gifts that differ in relationship to our ability to be Godly stewards of what He gives us.